Wednesday, October 31, 2012

ars poetica

See me,
I am wide with swimmer’s muscle, and a bulk and luggage
I carry curdled on hips;
I am as fat-rich as titi-chick, ready for the far ocean flight.

See me,
I have skilled fingers with minimal scars, broad feet
that caress beaches,
ears that catch the music of ghosts, eyes that see
the landlight, a pristine womb
untouched except by years of bleeding, a tame unsteady heart.

See me,
I am a swamp, a boozy brain with stinking breath, a sour
sweatened flesh;
I am riddled with kidneyrot, brainburn, torn gut, liverfat,
scaled with wrinkles,
day by day I am leached, even between smiles, of that
strange water, electricity.

See me,
I am my earth’s child…

~Keri Hulme, from “He hoha”

quoth the madman

"… I came to a point where I needed solitude and just stop the machine of “thinking” and “enjoying” what they call “living,” I just wanted to lie in the grass and look at the clouds"
~Jack Kerouac

Monday, October 29, 2012

ars poetica

"Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day."
~Emily Bronte, Fall, leaves, fall

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Pierrot le fou - Jean-Luc Godard
"Unreality is a condition of life."
~Andrei Bitov, Pushkin House

quoth the madman

"I tell you truly
Everything you now see
Will vanish like a dream."

quoth the madman

The Fades
"In most of our human relationships, we spend much of our time reassuring one another that our costumes of identity are on straight."
~Ram dass

quoth the madman

"Security is a false God. Begin to make sacrifices to it and you are lost."
~Paul Bowles


The Artist - Michel Hazanavicius
"It sometimes happens that my hands
grow conscious of each other, or else my weary face
takes refuge in them."
~Rainer Maria Rilke, from Duino Elegies

quoth the madman

Hours, hours without end
thick, deep
I will wait for you
till all that is is still.

Till a stone bursts forth
and blossoms.
Till a bird flies from my throat
and, into silence, disappears.

Eugénio de Andrade, ‘Waiting’


Beauty, she had discovered, occupied a narrow band. Ugliness, on the other hand, had infinite variation.
~Ian McEwan, Atonement

Friday, October 26, 2012


Persona - Ingmar Bergman
"I was too possible, like death, like the world isn’t."
~ Susan Elbe, from “Once Not, Now Broken


Unknown - Jaume Collet-Serra
"… the dimension of time has been shattered, we cannot love or think except in fragments of time each of which goes off along its own trajectory and immediately disappears."
— Italo Calvino, If on a winter’s night a traveller…


You Only Live Once - Fritz Lang
"I am listening to what fear teaches. I will never be gone. I am a scar, a report from the front lines, a talisman, a resurrection."
~ Audre Lorde, I Am Your Sister

ars poetica

Летят журавли (The Cranes Are Flying) - Mikhail Kalatozov

Bury thy sorrows, and they shall rise
As souls to the immortal skies,
And there look down like mothers' eyes.

But let thy joys be fresh as flowers,
That suck the honey of the showers,
And bloom alike on huts and towers.

So shall thy days be sweet and bright;
Solemn and sweet thy starry night,
Conscious of love each change of light.

The stars will watch the flowers asleep,
The flowers will feel the soft stars weep,
And both will mix sensations deep.

With these below, with those above,
Sits evermore the brooding dove,
Uniting both in bonds of love.

For both by nature are akin;
Sorrow, the ashen fruit of sin,
And joy, the juice of life within.

Children of earth are these; and those
The spirits of divine repose -
Death radiant o'er all human woes.

O, think what then had been thy doom,
If homeless and without a tomb
They had been left to haunt the gloom!

O, think again what now they are -
Motherly love, tho' dim and far,
Imaged in every lustrous star.

For they, in their salvation, know
No vestige of their former woe,
While thro' them all the heavens do flow.

Thus art thou wedded to the skies,
And watched by ever-loving eyes,
And warned by yearning sympathies.
~George Meredith

ars poetica

La prisonnière - H.G. Clouzot

No, no, the falling blossom is no sign
Of loveliness destroy'd and sorrow mute;
The blossom sheds its loveliness divine; -
Its mission is to prophecy the fruit.

Nor is the day of love for ever dead,
When young enchantment and romance are gone;
The veil is drawn, but all the future dread
Is lightened by the finger of the dawn.

Love moves with life along a darker way,
They cast a shadow and they call it death:
But rich is the fulfilment of their day;
The purer passion and the firmer faith.

George Meredith  ~ song 8

ars poetica

Her son, albeit the Muse's livery
And measured courtly paces rouse his taunts,
Naked and hairy in his savage haunts,
To Nature only will he bend the knee;
Spouting the founts of her distillery
Like rough rock-sources; and his woes and wants
Being Nature's, civil limitation daunts
His utterance never; the nymphs blush, not he.
Him, when he blows of Earth, and Man, and Fate,
The Muse will hearken to with graver ear
Than many of her train can waken: him
Would fain have taught what fruitful things and dear
Must sink beneath the tidewaves, of their weight,
If in no vessel built for sea they swim.

George Meredith ~ An Orson Of The Muse

overneath the path of misery

Thursday, October 25, 2012

quoth the madman

"Apparently orgasm is the only point where your mind becomes completely empty—you think of nothing for that second. that’s why it’s so compelling—it’s a tiny taste of death. your mind is void—you have nothing in your head save white light."

~Jeff Buckley

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

quoth the madman

"Since man constantly jockeys between the two worlds of experience and imagination, he would like to penetrate the ideal life of his acquaintances and actually know the people whose life he has had to imagine."
~ Marcel Proust

ars poetica

Don’t want to see you anymore
"unlove’s the heavenless hell and homeless home
of knowledgeable shadows (quick to seize
each nothing which all soulless wraiths proclaim
substance; all heartless spectres, happiness)
lovers alone wear sunlight."

~  E. E. Cummings

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

quoth the madman

La chute - Denis Darzacq
"I do not speak as I think, I do not think as I should, and so it all goes on in helpless darkness."
~Franz Kafka

quoth the madman

"Nature treats life as though it were the most valueless thing in the world."
Erwin Schrödinger

quoth the madman

"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious."
~C.G. Jung

quoth the madman

"I prefer by far the warmth and softness to mere brilliancy and coldness. Some people remind me of sharp dazzling diamonds. Valuable but lifeless and loveless. Others, of the simplest field flowers, with hearts full of dew and with all the tints of celestial beauty reflected in their modest petals."
~Anaïs Nin, The Early Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 2: 1920-1923

Sunday, October 21, 2012

words and music

So, I prayed...
But you weren't listening.
Making miracles?

So, I begged...
But you were far away.
Saving souls perhaps?

So, I screamed...
But she was very small
And you have worlds to mend.

So, she died...
And you were glorious.
But you were somewhere else.

If you are my shepherd
Then I'm lost and no one can find me.
If you are my saviour
Then I'm dead and no one can help me.
If you are my glory
Then I'm sick and no one can cure me.
If you light my darkness
Then I'm blind and no one can see me.

If you are my father
Then love lies abandoned and bleeding.
If you are my comfort
Then nightmares are real and deceiving.
If you are my answer
Then I must have asked the wrong question.
I'd spit on your heaven
If I could find one to believe in.
~A Prayer For The Unborn - Gary Numan

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Can’t Take my Eyes of You
"To the dumb question “Why me?” the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: Why not?"
~Christopher Hitchens, “Mortality”

ars poetica

     I am the Empire in the last of its decline,
     That sees the tall, fair-haired Barbarians pass,—the while
     Composing indolent acrostics, in a style
     Of gold, with languid sunshine dancing in each line.

     The solitary soul is heart-sick with a vile
     Ennui. Down yon, they say, War's torches bloody shine.
     Alas, to be so faint of will, one must resign
     The chance of brave adventure in the splendid file,—

     Of death, perchance! Alas, so lagging in desire!
     Ah, all is drunk! Bathyllus, hast done laughing, pray?
     Ah, all is drunk,—all eaten! Nothing more to say!

     Alone, a vapid verse one tosses in the fire;
     Alone, a somewhat thievish slave neglecting one;
     Alone, a vague disgust of all beneath the sun!

~Paul Verlaine - LANGUEUR


"I have bought
Golden opinions from all sorts of people."
- William Shakespeare, Macbeth, 1.7



sew up our split seams with silent whispers and muted screams.
"Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts! unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top full
Of direst cruelty; make thick my blood,
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose."
- William Shakespeare, Macbeth, 1.5

Monday, October 15, 2012


"Death has no power
the immortal soul to slay,
That, when its present
body turns to clay,
Seeks a fresh home, and
with unlessened might
Inspires another frame
with life and light."

Sunday, October 14, 2012

quoth the madman

you’re not here.
"The real does not die, the unreal never lived."
~Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


"For I do not exist: there exist but the thousands of mirrors that reflect me.
With every acquaintance I make, the population of phantoms resembling me increases.
Somewhere they live, somewhere they multiply.
I alone do not exist."
~Vladimir Nabokov, The Eye

Friday, October 12, 2012


I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.

Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

ars poetica

What's the cats dream about ...
"My life is light,
waiting for the death wind,
like a feather on the back of my hand.
Dust in sunlight and memory in corners
Wait for the wind that chills towards the dead land."
~T. S. Eliot 

ars poetica

Under Eads Bridge over the Mississippi at Saint Louis
Flows the Seine And our past loves.
Do I really have to remember all that again
And remember
Joy came only after so much pain?
Hand in hand, face to face,
Let the belfry softly bong the late hour.
Nights go by. Days go by.
I'm alive. I'm here. I'm in flower.
The days go by. But I'm still here. In full flower.
Let night come. Let the hour chime on the mantel.
Love goes away the way this river flows away.
How violently flowers fade. How awfully slow life is.
How violently a flower fades. How violent our hopes are.
The days pass and the weeks pass.
The past does not return, nor do past loves.
Under the Pont Mirabeau flows the Seine.
Hand in hand, standing face to face,
Under the arch of the bridge our outstretched arms make
Flows our appetite for life away from us downstream,
And our dream
Of getting back our love of life again.
Under the Pont Mirabeau flows the Seine.
— Guillaume Apollinaire, “Le Pont Mirabeau,”


"What’s memory but the ash
That chokes our fires that have begun to sink?"

~ W. B. Yeats, The Countess Cathleen

quoth the madman

"What does seventy million years mean to beings who live only one-millionth as long? We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever."
~Carl Sagan

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

quoth the madman

"Even those who commended my perception of the truths which I wanted eventually to engrave within the temple, congratulated me on having discovered them ‘with a microscope,’ when on the contrary it was a telescope that I had used to observe things which were indeed very small to the naked eye, but only because they were situated at a great distance, and which were each of them in itself a world."
~Marcel Proust, Le temps retrouvé, 1927

quoth the madman

“A Portrait of a Noble Lady” by Gustave Jean Jacquet (1846-1909)
"Our desires are constantly getting in each other’s way, and, in the confusion of life, rarely does a satisfaction correspond precisely to the desire that had called for it."
~  Marcel Proust

quoth the madman

"Melancholy redeems this universe, and yet it is melancholy that separates us from it."
~ E. M. Cioran

ars poetica

Last night returning from my twilight walk
I met the grey mist Death, whose eyeless brow
Was bent on me, and from his hand of chalk
He reached me flowers as from a withered bough:
O Death, what bitter nosegays givest thou!

Death said, I gather, and pursued his way.
Another stood by me, a shape in stone,
Sword-hacked and iron-stained, with breasts of clay,
And metal veins that sometimes fiery shone:
O Life, how naked and how hard when known!

Life said, As thou hast carved me, such am I.
Then memory, like the nightjar on the pine,
And sightless hope, a woodlark in night sky,
Joined notes of Death and Life till night's decline
Of Death, of Life, those inwound notes are mine.

~George Meredith - A Ballad Of Past Meridian


Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio.
…And he was fabulous.
"Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow
of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath
borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how
abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at
it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know
not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your
gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment,
that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one
now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen?"
~William Shakespeare - Hamlet


Within this tree
another tree
inhabits the same body;
within this stone
another stone rests,
its many shades of grey
the same,
its identical
surface and weight.
And within my body,
another body,
whose history, waiting,
sings; there is no other body,
it sings,
there is no other world.

~  Jane Hirshfield,  “Within This Tree”


"Depression is such a cruel punishment. There are no fevers, no rashes, no blood tests to send people scurrying in concern. Just the slow erosion of the self, as insidious as any cancer. And, like cancer, it is essentially a solitary experience. A room in hell with only your name on the door."

~Martha Manning, Undercurrents: A Life Under the Surface

Monday, October 8, 2012


 Sleep, darksome, deep,
        Doth on me fall:
     Vain hopes all, sleep,
        Sleep, yearnings all!

     Lo, I grow blind!
        Lo, right and wrong
     Fade to my mind....
        O sorry song!

     A cradle, I,
        Rocked in a grave:
     Speak low, pass by,
        Silence I crave!

~Paul Verlaine


Hours after your death you seemed
everywhere at once like the swifts at twilight.
Now your moments are clouds
in a photograph of swifts.

~Carolyn Forché, excerpt from Travel Papers


when i am with you,my heart is a frozen pond gleaming with agitated torches.

~Amy Lowell, Opal

quoth the madman

Mirror mirror.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Macbeth Act 5, scene 5, 19–28